AHA Pushes for Passage of Children's Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act

The American Hospital Association is urging the House of Representatives to pass the Children's Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act, which would provide continued funding for the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program for the next four fiscal years.

In a letter to Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack writes that because children's hospitals treat few Medicare patients, they do not receive Medicare funding to support graduate education. "The CHGME program addresses this inequity," he wrote. "The program helps independent children’s hospitals train 49 percent of general pediatricians, 51 percent of all pediatric specialists and the majority of pediatric researchers."

The looming physician shortage coupled with an increased demand for care means pediatric physicians will be in high demand, he wrote. "Not fully supporting the program would be detrimental to the mutual goals of strengthening the primary care workforce and ensuring timely access to critical, high-quality specialty care."

The bill passed in the Senate in November, and if it passes in the House would then go to the President's desk for signature.

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